The world’s biggest companies are eager to boost bottom lines by outsourcing such finance and accounting functions as invoice management, an article on AccountingToday.com reports. So far, however, relatively few have seized these opportunities for cost savings, improved efficiency and analytical insights.

A new report by KPMG, “State of the Outsourcing Industry 2013,” surveyed 1,355 leaders and advisors in global business and outsourcing. Roughly 40 percent of global organizations say they plan to outsource more accounting and finance functions in 2013. However, only about half of that number currently relies on outsourcing for these tasks: 23 percent for accounts payable and 19 percent for purchasing and receivables.

Outsourcing business processes is among the most effective ways to cut costs, streamline operations and uncover analytical insights. For example, let’s consider four benefits of SaaS invoice management software.

  1. No more paper-pushing. An automated invoice processing service can replace most invoices with faxed, emailed or electronic documents, eliminating time-consuming data entry. A scanning service can convert any remaining paper invoices to electronic images.
  2. Cut processing costs. Outsourcing accounts payable management improves efficiency and frees your staff from menial tasks, allowing them to focus on revenue-generating activities.
  3. Improve accuracy and compliance. AP automation eliminates most data-entry errors, helping staff spot mistakes like overpayments and duplicate payments. Such a system can also be configured to flag noncompliant business expense reports for additional review.
  4. Identify and capture discounts for paying vendors early. Improved spending visibility helps managers capture savings through preferred vendor relationships and track spending trends across cost centers and departments.

Invoice management from a SaaS provider is just one example of how organizations can streamline accounts payable automation. While many companies are lagging when it comes to outsourcing finance and accounting tasks, early adopters are discovering new ways to cut costs, simplify operations and develop analytical insights.

As always, we appreciate your feedback. What do you see as the advantages and disadvantages of outsourcing business processes? Which tasks do you find best suited to a SaaS solution?

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